Madhura Vijaya: Sharad

Gaṅgādevī devotes most of the fifth canto to an elaborate description of each of the six seasons of the year, starting with Grīṣma (summer) and ending with Vasanta (spring). This cycle of seasons, ṛtuvarṇana, is a must-have for any mahākāvya worth its salt. Although the poetess remains well within the bounds of the detailed conventions related to this particular trope, she nevertheless continually surprises us with fresh and unusual images, such as in this verse on Śarad (autumn):


मुखमवेक्षितुमात्तकुतूहला ।


शरदकर्षदहर्पतिदर्पणम् ॥ (द्रुतविलम्बितम्)

Listen to this verse

Śarad drew her mirror,

the irridescent sun,

out of a clutch made of clouds,

clearly eager to admire herself

as the lotuses of her eyes burst into bloom.

5.46 Gaṅgādevī’s Madhurā Vijaya

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